Western Australian Minister for Heritage, the Hon. David Templeman MLA, has announced the finalisation of Perth’s iconic Barrack Square and Jetties in the State Register of Heritage Places.
As the location of the city’s river port since 1905, Barrack Square played a key role in Perth life during the WA’s gold rush when river transport and recreation was booming due to significant population growth.
Through many changes and new developments over more than a century, Barrack Square and Jetties remain strongly associated with Perth’s river transport to this day as a departure and return point for travel, recreation and commercial ferry services.
The creation of Barrack Square was part of a major work of land reclamation along the Swan River foreshore to improve transport facilities and provide a fringe of parkland in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The original square was constructed by building banks of shell sealed with bitumen to create an enclosed area, with a 152-metre timber wharf running the full length of the southern side and four jetties projecting into the river.
Today, Barrack Square and Jetties include the instantly recognisable Bell Tower with a ‘sail-like structure’ inspired by the historical context of Barrack Square as a place where boat building was a prominent activity.
Heritage Minister David Templeman said that many Western Australians have wonderful memories of visiting Barrack Square and Jetties to catch a ferry to Perth Zoo, enjoy a meal with friends, cycle along the river or visit the Bell Tower.
“Although the place has undergone a number of changes in its time, including the recent addition of a hotel, Barrack Square remains a popular Perth destination with strong ties to our city’s river transport and recreation scene,” the Minister said.
“The finalisation of its entry in the State Heritage Register will ensure the heritage of the precinct is protected as a landmark feature along our foreshore for many years to come.”